I quite enjoyed "The Ides of March", a modern day retelling of how political ambition can tear down one's own personal ethics and propel personal actions that not only manifest themselves in self-preservation moves even at the high cost of political and personal fall-out. Ryan Gosling does most of the heavy lifting in this film, playing Stephen, a very on-the-rise political mover-and-shaker working on the campaign of Mike Morris (George Clooney), in a race for the Presidential nomination for the Democratic Party. Paul (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is the campaign manager, trying to secure the nomination for Morris, and Stephen gets involved in some overtures from their adversary's campaign manager Tom (Paul Giamatti), and things quickly spiral out of control for Stephen as the Morris campaign faces a major crossroad at the Ohio primaries. The script is lean and economical (as is Clooney's direction), but sets up all of the pieces quite well, and the cast is uniformily solid, and they produced some good work in creating a world falling apart for Stephen, and how does he go about finding his bearings in such a political quagmire that unfolds in a merciless manner. It feels like a longer movie in terms of scope of plotlines, but it's actually paced quite well, coming in at about 100 minutes. I give it 3.5 stars, or a grade of B+.